The period of early adolescence constitutes an age when burgeoning capacities take shape in the lives of junior youth. During this unique stage of development, societal forces assert a great influence on young minds, making it critical that they are enabled to determine the right framework and tools to set them on the right path. They begin their preparation for the future and start to expand their vision on life, searching for answers to what defines their identity, purpose and destiny. It is within this context that the empowerment programme for junior youth groups has its bearing.
All involved in the programme engage with the groups under the conviction that, in stark contrast to many prevalent misconceptions of this age range as being problematic and disruptive, junior youth have the inherent capacity to manifest noble characteristics and virtuous attributes. In them are held vast reservoirs of talents, skills and virtues waiting to be tapped. Over the course of the programme, the groups foster a space that helps release their potential to contribute meaningfully to the material, social and moral welfare of society.
Explained similarly, at the heart of the empowerment programme lies spiritual education that seeks to address the many destructive influences in the world. Numerous concepts are explored, one example being on how to challenge and overcome undesirable forms power and its use for domination by instead conceiving it as the practice of love, kindness, humility, generosity, compassion and justice. Indeed, for material, social and moral education to lead to meaningful development, it is recognised that study and learning is followed by practice and action. In this process, the junior youth are aided to organise and participate in service projects.
Groups typically take the form of a handful of junior youth, identified as between the ages 11-15 under the programme, that meet on a weekly basis. The sessions involve a combination of study of a sequence of books, consultation and sharing of thoughts and ideas, artistic expression, healthy recreation and service projects.
There is currently one junior youth group in Barnet held on a weekly basis. The community is always eager to invite ever larger numbers to expand this existing group, as well as form new ones. Please contact us if you would like more information on the programme and on how you can participate.